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Dec 2, 2022 |
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Long-time partners NCFL and Toyota are teaming up with Kids In Need Foundation to donate school supplies to five under-resourced school districts nationwide, impacting more than 15,000 students. The on-air mention was made during NBC’s annual tree lighting special on November 30th, “Christmas in Rockefeller Center.” The donation ties to Toyota’s holiday ad “Like No One’s Watching,” which focuses on the story of a young woman who performs selfless acts of kindness for others throughout the holiday season. Watch the ad here.

Kids In Need Foundation's Supply A Teacher Program seeks to empower teachers by providing supplies for their classrooms and eliminating the burden of purchasing supplies out of their own pockets. Each teacher supported through Supply A Teacher receives two large boxes filled with the items they need to fuel a full semester of active learning for 24 students.

A Toyota Tundra is parked with school supply boxes from Kids In Need Foundation in the truck bed.
A Toyota Tundra is parked with school supply boxes from Kids In Need Foundation in the truck bed.

The school communities receiving supplies are those in which the five finalists of the Toyota Family Teacher of the Year live and work: Mesa, Ariz.; Columbia Heights, Minn.; Atlanta, Ga.; Washington, DC; and Greensboro, N.C. The Toyota Family Teacher of the Year is an annual partnership award between Toyota and NCFL where an educator is awarded $20,000 in recognition of innovative efforts that engage multiple generations of family members in the education process. 

The 2022 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year, Ivonne Ortiz of Mesa, Ariz., and her family appeared live at the tree lighting ceremony. Upon returning home to Arizona, Ortiz and families of her class were surprised with boxes of supplies transported to her school by Toyota Tundras decorated for the seasonal holidays.

Ivonne Ortiz and a group of students and families pose enthusiastically in front of two Toyota Tundras with school supplies.
Ivonne Ortiz and a group of students and families pose enthusiastically in front of two Toyota Tundras with school supplies.

“Toyota’s holiday message focuses on simple acts of kindness and encourages people to connect with their communities this holiday season,” says Michael Medalla, Toyota USA Foundation Manager. “We hope this heartwarming message—and the significant connections that have been formed over three decades as a result of the Toyota and NCFL partnership—will inspire viewers to spread kindness during the holidays and beyond.”

“Together with Toyota and Kids In Need Foundation, we’re celebrating educators across the country who—in spite of many challenges—remain committed to building effective family–school partnerships that support student learning outcomes and school improvement,” says Dr. Felicia Cumings Smith, president and CEO of NCFL. “Too often, educators must use their personal funds to supplement classroom supplies. The generous donation by Toyota will impact thousands of students and their teachers.”

Students unboxing their new school supplies.
Students unboxing their new school supplies.

"We are grateful to collaborate with Toyota and NCFL to celebrate the incredible work of educators across the country," said Corey Gordon, CEO of Kids In Need Foundation. "In the schools served by KINF, 91% of teachers don’t have the resources they need to start the second semester. This donation will help to ensure that these teachers and students are equipped with what they need to be successful in school as they begin the second half of the year." 

Readers interested in supporting more teachers and their students can make a donation at


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NCFL Partners

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Toyota, one of the nation's most successful corporations, began a partnership with NCFL in 1991. In addition to a commitment of more than $50 million, Toyota has also contributed a wealth of in-kind support — including advertising, planning and management expertise — to form one of the most progressive corporate/nonprofit partnerships in the nation.

Three major programs have been developed through the Toyota partnership based on the family literacy model of parents and children learning together. These models have influenced federal and state legislation, leveraged local dollars to support family literacy and led to successful programs being replicated across the country.

Read more about Toyota's commitment to communities

William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust

NCFL received its very first donation in 1989 from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust to promote and implement family literacy programming, first in Kentucky and North Carolina and later nationwide. The Kenan Family Literacy Model in part laid the groundwork for 30 years of subsequent family literacy and family learning programming developed by NCFL.

Kenan has continued to support NCFL’s place-based family literacy programs since our inception. Most recently, it has invested in our organization’s Sharon Darling Innovation Fund, which will launch emerging ideas and programmatic evolutions in the multigenerational learning space.

Learn more about the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust

Dollar General Literacy Foundation

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation began partnering with NCFL in 2006. A signature effort of this partnership is the National Literacy Directory, a resource that launched in 2010 and strives to guide potential students and volunteers to literacy services, community education programs, and testing centers in their communities.

The National Literacy Directory contains over 10,000 educational agencies located across the United States and has a dedicated toll-free number to help support those wanting to pursue educational opportunities in their communities.

Dollar General also provides support for development of NCFL’s innovative family learning resources centered on financial literacy and Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time®.

Learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation

PNC Grow Up Great

PNC Grow Up Great believes deeply in the power of high-quality early childhood education and provides innovative opportunities that assist families, educators and community organizations to enhance children's learning and development.

PNC Grow Up Great has partnered with NCFL since 1994, most recently in Louisville, Kentucky, to support Say & Play with Words, our pre-Kindergarten vocabulary-building initiative.

NCFL's work is also featured on the PNC Grow Up Great Lesson Center website. The Lesson Center includes over 100 free, high-quality preschool lesson plans and research-based instructional techniques and strategies. All lesson plans contain Home/School Connections printouts, in English and Spanish, to help families extend and reinforce the learning at home.

Learn more about PNC Grow Up Great

U.S. Department of Education

Initiated through the U.S. Department of Education in 2018, the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFEC) program provides 12 grantees and 13 states with five-year, $5 million grants to promote and implement systemic evidenced-based family engagement strategies. NCFL was selected to lead SFECs in two states, Arizona and Nebraska, and is a primary partner for two other SFECs in Kentucky and Maryland/Pennsylvania. 

The SFECs work to support family engagement through state- and local-level agencies while providing both professional development to school districts and direct services to families related to children’s academic outcomes and overall well-being.

Learn more about the U.S. Department of Education

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

NCFL was named a recipient of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s "Voices for Economic Opportunity Grand Challenge," which seeks to elevate diverse voices in order to broaden the conversation about the issues inhibiting economic mobility and generate deeper awareness along with actionable understanding. NCFL will develop and launch a podcast series that will highlight the remarkable stories of low-income, diverse families across the U.S. who have improved their communities through Family Service Learning.

Foundation Website